Posts tagged 'Moon'

Connect Four (or Five)

Posted by on February 25th 2012 in Astrostuff

You'll all have noticed the line of lights in the south-western sky at about 18:30 GMT yesterday evening, no?

It's not the greatest of pics but it's the best I could do in a rush:

This is what you get: upper-left = Jupiter, middle = Venus, lower-right = our Moon

The 4th in the line is Jupiter's moon Ganymede (a tiny dot really close to Jupiter, you'll need to look at the full-size pic to find it).

Other folk have also seen Mercury (even lower than and further right of our Moon) from their locations, but from here it was down in the light-polluted clag.

There'll be similar such alignments in the south-western sky for several nights - have a look, take some pics, see what you can catch - here's what's on offer just after sundown on Monday:

Just don't go being stupid and looking directly at the Sun - it's another one of those things that'll make you go blind 😯

Observing Report 24th-25th July 2011 (Messiers, Jupiter and Moon but no Sun)

Posted by on July 28th 2011 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics

Sunday evening was still and clear with good seeing so I made my excuses and headed to the shed for another Messier Object imaging session. For some reason the northern skies were darker than I'd expected so I had a look around there and decided to try to image M81 and M82 in one hit. After a bit of jiggery-pokery I got the 1000D rotated to get a decent framing and then I set to with the hardware and software. After a couple of hours I'd got some decent subframes so I moved to a different target - M74. This thing isn't called The Phantom for no good reason... it's hard to image because it's so dim. I upped the exposure from the standard 5 minutes to a more realistic 15 but still didn't get useful results so I scrubbed the attempt.

By then the Moon was rising and the sky was lightening. Jupiter had already risen and was an obvious target so I opted to go for a wide shot with the webcam and CCD camera in order to pick up some Galilean moons.

That finished, I turned the scope towards the Moon which was by then well above the horizon with the Sun not far behind. Just enough time to grab some CCD data to make another big mosaic.

I had intended to go the last mile and get some early-morning sunspot images but before the Sun reached a suitable position I was too knackered so I called it a morning, packed up and got me a few ZZZZs before the usual waking-up time.

Clickable results as follows:

M81 (aka Bode's Galaxy, NGC 3031, lower-right) and M82 (aka The Cigar Galaxy, NGC 3034, upper-left),
a pair of galaxies in the constellation Ursa Major.
Subs: 24 light @ 300s, darks and bias frames, ISO400.
1000D on the 6" R-C, guided with PHD.

L to R: Jupiter, Europa, Io, Ganymede.
Luminance: 100/1000 frames stacked with K3CCDTools3,
DMK mono CCD camera on the 6" R-C.
Colour: 100/1000 frames stacked with K3CCDTools3, SPC900NC webcam on the 6" R-C.

 The Moon.
14-pane mosaic created with iMerge.
Each pane 500/2000 frames stacked with K3CCDTools3.
DMK mono CCD camera on the 6" R-C, unguided.

Observing Report 26th-27th June 2011 Part 3 (Wargentin late in the morning)

Posted by on July 5th 2011 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics

The area around Schickard is fairly easy to see and to image when the Moon is approaching Full as it's well-lit from the West. Usually these conditions can be met during the hours of darkness. Trying to see it when it's lit from the East is a different proposition with the Moon approaching New and the sun nearby in the sky - usually it's a daytime-imaging jobbie, and that's what we have here.

The main object of interest here is Wargentin. Take just one look at it and you can see that it's not like standard lunar impact craters. No high walls surrounding a deep basin, here we have an impact crater that was filled to overflowing with basaltic lava to form a 900ft high circular plateau somewhat reminiscent of a huge coin.

Again, a red filter was needed to cut the blue glare and to reduce the effect of the bad seeing,  so the resolution's not great, but I'm quite pleased with the result...

Wargentin (51 miles dia.), Schickard (137 miles dia.), Phocylides (69 miles dia.),
Nasmyth (47 miles dia.), Inghirami (55 miles dia.)

The "coin" effect is easier to make out in the above image if you cock your head over to the left. To save you from the hassle and inherent physical danger of such gymnastics, here's a rotated version:

 

If you fancy a peep at Wargentin, here's where to look:

 

Observing Report 26th-27th June 2011 Part 2 (A late-morning crescent Moon)

Posted by on June 30th 2011 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics
Tags:

After doing my bit to get the rest of the family off to work, school or whatever I went back to the obsy to pack away the kit. By then it was getting on for 10a.m. , the sun was beating down again and the sky was clear and blue. High up and almost due south I could just make out the thin crescent of the waning Moon, and I was compelled to have a pop at it with the DMK. A red filter was needed to cut the blue glare and to reduce the effect of the bad seeing and so the resolution's not great, but it was worth playing those ten minutes of extra-time...

Moon (27/06/2011 @ 10:05 approx).11 panes stitched with MaxIm DL5.
Each pane is 150/3000 stacked frames. DMK mono CCD camera on the GSRC6M.

Observing Report 8th-9th April 2011 Part 1 (Afternoon Moon)

Posted by on April 14th 2011 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics

As I've said before, observing the early phases of the Moon from my obsy is a bit of a lottery - due to the restricted western view the only way to get the scope pointing at the thin waxing crescent is when the Moon's high in the western sky. This time around it was late in the afternoon... sunny... hot... not the best conditions for this sort of thing.

I'd invited some friends around to have a go with the scope so I'd got set up with an hour to spare. While waiting for them to arrive I grabbed some video data for another lunar mosaic. Processing was difficult but eventually a passable result was achieved:

 The Moon.
11-pane mosaic created with PSCS3.
Each pane 100/2000 frames stacked with K3CCDTools3.
DMK mono CCD camera on the
6" R-C, unguided.

 

When the guests arrived we did some visual observing and also did some lunar exploring using the DMK for looking and the laptop for display. A few interesting bits were recorded, here are the results:

(mouseover the pics for the annotated versions):

Rheita (42 miles dia.), Stiborius A (19 miles dia.), Metius (53 miles dia.),
Watt (40 miles dia.), Steinheil (41 miles dia.), Fabricius (47 miles dia.),
Vallis Rheita (303 x 18 miles)

 Romer (24 miles dia.), Chacornac (31 miles dia.), Newcomb (24 miles dia.),
Macrobius (39 miles dia.), Dorsa Aldovandi (73 miles long)

Isidorus (25 miles dia.), Capella (30 miles dia.), Gutenberg (45 miles dia.),
Gutenberg D (12 miles dia.), Goclenius (33 miles dia.), Magelhaens (25 miles dia.),
Magelhaens A (19 miles dia.), Bellot (10 miles dia.), Colombo (46 miles dia.),
Colombo A (25 miles dia.)

Endymion (76 miles dia.), Keldysh (20 miles dia.), Hercules (42 miles dia.),
Atlas (53 miles dia.), Atlas A (13 miles dia.), Burg (24 miles dia.),
De La Rue (82 miles dia.)

Piccolomini (53 miles dia.), Neander (30 miles dia.), Stiborius (27 miles dia.),
Rupes Altai (short section) (291 miles long)

Eventually the Moon dropped out of our field of view so we went in for a brew and waited a few hours for darkness to reveal some other targets.

Observing Report 13th-14th March 2011 (Moon and Messiers)

Posted by on March 21st 2011 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics

More or less the same as before - more practice with the 1000D. I really could do with getting a Barlow or a Powermate so as to get a better imaging scale for these smaller targets. Oh, and I did a bit of lunar imaging, you might want to click on the pic to see it at the original size 🙂

M102 (aka The Spindle Galaxy, NGC 5866), a lenticular galaxy in the constellation Draco.
Subs: 20 light @ 300s, darks and bias frames, ISO400.
1000D on the 6" R-C, guided with PHD.

As previous, cropped, and enhanced.

M64 (aka The Black Eye Galaxy, NGC 4826), a spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices.
Subs: 20 light @ 300s, dark and bias frames, ISO400.
1000D on the
6" R-C, guided with PHD.

As previous, cropped, and enhanced.

 The Moon.
24-pane mosaic created with iMerge.
Each pane 50/1000 frames stacked with K3CCDTools3.
DMK mono CCD camera on the
6" R-C, unguided.

Observing Report 25th-26th November 2010 (R-C Moon)

Posted by on January 14th 2011 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics

Sorry, I'm a bit behind with these reports... I really must try harder!

I remember that it was cold, damned cold, and probably dark...

They're all eyepiece-projection jobs with the DMK mono CCD camera on the 6" R-C scope, can't remember how many frames were stacked.

 

Posidonius (58 miles dia.)

 Plinius (26 miles dia.)

Burg (24 miles dia.)

Aristoteles (53 miles dia.) and Eudoxus (41 miles dia.)

Observing Report 30th-31st August 2010 Part 1 (Second Lunar mosaic)

Posted by on August 31st 2010 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics
Tags: ,

As long last - a dry clear night AND a working laptop! I had intended to take several images of Jupiter but the glare from the Moon was too bright. I did get some Jupiter data while trying to rediscover the camera settings that were lost in the Trojan Wars, but it's not much cop - I'll try to process it sometime soon. The Moon did make an inviting target though, so I grabbed some .avi data for another mosaic. This one's a stitch of 11 images from the DMK camera and C8N scope. Click it to see the BIG version:

The Moon (31/08/2010 @ 02:00).
11 stitched images, each 50/1000 stacked frames.
DMK mono CCD camera on the C8N.

Observing Report 4th-5th August 2010 Part 1 (First Lunar mosaic)

Posted by on August 5th 2010 in Astrostuff, New tricks for an old dog, Observing Reports, Pics
Tags: ,

Unexpected clear sky last night was the cue for another look at the heavens. Jupiter was the main target, no shadow-transits this time but good views of the Great Red Spot. There'll be pics later when I've had time to clear the backlog of image data (yes, I'm still trying to find time to process the lunar data from the previous session).

Until then, you'll have to make do with my first ever lunar mosaic - 12 stitched images from the same camera/scope combo that I usually poke skywards. The image alignment is a bit off in places, I'll do it better next time. Click it to see the BIG version:

 The Moon (05/08/2010 @ 05:10).
12 stitched images, each 50/500 stacked frames.
DMK mono CCD camera on the C8N.

Observing Report 17th June 2010 (Daylight Moon bits)

Posted by on June 22nd 2010 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics

Observing the early phases of the Moon from my obsy is a bit of a lottery - due to the restricted western view the only way to get the scope pointing at the thin waxing crescent is when the Moon's high in the sky. At this time of the year, that means observing during the daylight a few hours before sunset, which in turn means that the seeing is always going to be a limiting factor.

Never let it be said that I'm one to shy away from a challenge - here are some images gleaned from webcam data grabbed at about 20:00...

(mouseover the pics for the annotated versions):

Neander (30 miles dia.), Rheita E (40 x 19 miles), Furnerius (76 miles dia.),
Rheita (42 miles dia.), Fraunhofer (35 miles dia.), Metius (53 miles dia.),
Brenner A (19 miles dia.), Young D (27 miles dia.), Fabricius (47 miles dia.),
Vallis Rheita (303 x 18 miles)

 Pitiscus (50 miles dia.), Vlacq (54 miles dia.), Hommel (76 miles dia.),
Rosenberger (58 miles dia.), Nearch (46 miles dia.)

Daniell (18 x 14 miles), Rima G Bond (91 x 2 miles), G Bond (19 miles dia.),
Luther (6 miles dia.), Posidonius (58 miles dia.), Chacornac (31 miles dia.)

Endymion (76 miles dia.), Keldysh (20 miles dia.), Hercules (42 miles dia.),
Atlas (53 miles dia.)

Piccolomini (53 miles dia.), Neander (30 miles dia.), Rothman (25 miles dia.),
Rheita (42 miles dia.), Stiborius (27 miles dia.)

Messala (75 miles dia.), Berosus (45 miles dia.), Bernoulli (29 miles dia.),
Geminus (52 miles dia.), Burckhardt (35 miles dia.), Cleomedes (76 miles dia.)

Madler (17 miles dia.), Theophilus (61 miles dia.), Cyrillus (59 miles dia.),
Beaumont (32 miles dia.), Catharina (61 miles dia.)

My UMapper Moon Map has been updated.

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